Skip to main content



We frequently have customers asking for an onboard battery charger as well as 120vac power inside their vehicle (an inverter function).

While you can physically wire a vehicle with 2 separate devices (Charger and Inverter) , the newer technology Inverter/Chargers perform both functions in one device.

Have a look at the video below to walk through a comparison of the traditional equipment vs. the newer Inverter/Charger devices.

Short on time?  You can watch the video at a faster speed by clicking on the Gear icon on the lower right corner of the Youtube window.  Same info, just faster!

This video is an attempt to explain what you need to configure an onboard power system for vehicles.  We frequently get requests from customers who want to keep their in-vehicle computers, modems, etc. running while in a fire hall or plugged into shore power.   They also want to keep 120vac items charged, including 2-way radio bank chargers, flashlights, thermal cameras, even drone batteries.  Since the truck can't generate its own power while the engine is off, external power is required.  This is fed to the vehicle from a standard 120vac outlet on the wall of the firehall or other structure (we call this "shore power"), into the vehicle via an outlet mounted on the vehicle, then converted to 12 volt via an onboard battery charger.  

Inverter/Chargers have been around for years but have traditionally been physically large devices, unsuitable for many vehicles.  However, newer Inverter/Chargers don't use the older transformer-style conversion electronics so they are much smaller.

The video will also give you a quick lesson on Amps / Volts / Watts and how that system works.  

Having an Inverter/Charger will reduce the number of components that you need to install in the vehicle.  It also has an auto-switching device that will provide 120vac output regardless of whether the engine is running or the vehicle is plugged into shore power, and can transition between alternator-generated 12v power and shore power within a few milliseconds.

Previous Article
Next Article